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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

2 Samuel 13



1Amnon loving Tamar, by Jonadab's counsel feigning himself sick, ravishes her.
15He hates her, and shamefully turns her away.
19Absalom entertains her, and conceals his purpose.
23At a sheep-shearing among all the king's sons, he kills Amnon.
31David grieving at the news, is comforted by Jonadab.
37Absalom flies to Talmai at Geshur.

Verse 1
And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
A. M. 2972. B.C. 1032. A. Ex. Is. 459. Absalom
3:2,3; 1 Chronicles 3:2
a fair sister
11:2; Genesis 6:2; 39:6,7; Proverbs 6:25; 31:30
14:27; 1 Chronicles 3:9
loved her
15; Genesis 29:18,20; 34:3; 1 Kings 11:1

Verse 2
And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.
1 Kings 21:4; Song of Solomon 5:8; 2 Corinthians 7:10
Amnon, etc
Heb. it was marvellous, or hidden, in the eyes of Amnon.

Verse 3
But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.
a friend
Genesis 38:1,20; Judges 14:20; Esther 5:10,14; 6:13; Proverbs 19:6
32; 1 Samuel 16:9
subtil man.
14:2,19,20; Genesis 3:1; Jeremiah 4:22; 1 Corinthians 3:19; James 3:15

Verse 4
And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
Why art
1 Kings 21:7; Esther 5:13,14; Luke 12:32
Heb. thin. from day to day. Heb. morning by morning. I love.
Isaiah 3:9; Jeremiah 8:12; Micah 7:3
my brother
Leviticus 18:9; 20:17

Verse 5
And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.
Lay thee
16:21-23; 17:1-4; Psalms 50:18,19; Proverbs 19:27; Mark 6:24,25; Acts 23:15

Verse 6
So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.
make me
Genesis 18:6; Matthew 13:33

Verse 8
So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.
she took
Dr. Russell says, "The Eastern ladies often wash their own hands, prepare cakes, pastry, etc. in their apartments; and some few particular dishes are cooked by themselves, but not in their apartments: on such occasions, they go to some room near the kitchen."
or, paste. and made cakes. Rather, as Mr. Parkhurst renders, "and tossed it (wattelabbaiv) in his sight, and dressed the tossed cakes (halleveevoth)." This will receive illustration from the account which Mr. Jackson gives of the Arabian manner of kneading and baking. "They have a small place built with clay, between two and three feet high, having a hole at the bottom for the convenience of drawing out the ashes, something similar to that of a brick-kiln. The oven is usually about fifteen inches wide at top, and gradually grows wider to the bottom. It is heated with wood; and when sufficiently hot, and perfectly clear from smoke, having nothing but clear embers at bottom, which continue to reflect great heat, they prepare the dough in a large bowl, and mould the cakes to the desired size on a board or stone placed near the oven. After they have kneaded the cake to a proper consistency, they pat it a little, then toss it about with great dexterity in one hand till it is as thin as they choose to make it. They then wet one side of it with water, at the same time wetting the hand and arm with which they put it into the oven."

Verse 9
And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him.
And Ammon
Genesis 45:1; Judges 3:19; John 3:20

Verse 11
And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.
Come lie
Genesis 39:11,12

Verse 12
And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.
force me
Heb. humble me.
Genesis 34:2; Deuteronomy 22:29
no such thing ought
Heb. it ought not so.
Leviticus 18:9,11; 20:17
Genesis 34:7; Judges 19:23; 20:6; Proverbs 5:22,23; 7:7

Verse 13
And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.
Now therefore
Genesis 19:8; Judges 19:24

Verse 14
Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.
forced her
12:11; Deuteronomy 22:25-27; Judges 20:5; Esther 7:8

Verse 15
Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.
hated her
Ezekiel 23:17
Heb. with great hatred greatly.

Verse 18
And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.
a garment
Genesis 37:3,32; Judges 5:30; Psalms 45:13,14

Verse 19
And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.
put ashes
1:2; Joshua 7:6; Job 2:12; 42:6
laid her
Jeremiah 2:37

Verse 20
And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.
Heb. Aminon. but hold.
Proverbs 26:24; Romans 12:19
regard not
Heb. set not thine heart on. desolate. Heb. and desolate.
Genesis 34:2; 46:15

Verse 21
But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth.
he was very wroth
The Septuagint and Vulgate add, [Kai ouk elupese to pneuma Amnon tou huiou autou, hoti egapa auton, hoti prototokos autou en;] et noluit contristare spiritum Amnon filii sui, quoniam diligebat eum, quia primogenitus erat ei: "But he would not grieve the soul of Amnon his son, for he loved him because he was his first-born." The same addition is found in Josephus; and it is probable that it once formed a part of the Hebrew text.
3:28,29; 12:5,10; Genesis 34:7; 1 Samuel 2:22-25,29; Psalms 101:8

Verse 22
And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
Leviticus 19:17,18; Proverbs 25:9; Matthew 18:15
neither good
Genesis 24:50; 31:24,29
Leviticus 19:17,18; Proverbs 10:18; 26:24; 27:4-6; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Ephesians 4:26,31; 1 John 3:15

Verse 23
And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
A. M. 2974. B.C. 1030. An. Ex. Is 461. sheep-shearers
Genesis 38:12,13; 1 Samuel 25:2,4,36; 2 Kings 3:4; 2 Chronicles 26:10
1 Kings 1:9,19,25

Verse 24
And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant.
let the king
11:8-15; Psalms 12:2; 55:21; Jeremiah 41:6,7

Verse 25
And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him.
Genesis 19:2,3; Judges 19:7-10; Luke 14:23; 24:29; Acts 16:15
14:22; *marg:; Ruth 2:4

Verse 26
Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee?
let my brother
He urged this with the more plausibility because Amnon was the first-born, and presumptive heir to the crown; and he had dissembled his resentment so long and so well that he was not suspected.
3:27; 11:13-15; 20:9; Psalms 55:21

Verse 27
But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.
Proverbs 26:24-26

Verse 28
Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.
11:15; Exodus 1:16,17; 1 Samuel 22:17,18; Acts 5:29
heart is merry
11:13; Genesis 9:21; 19:32-35; Judges 19:6,9,22; Ruth 3:7; 1 Samuel 25:36-38; 1 Kings 20:16; Esther 1:10; Psalms 104:15; Ecclesiastes 9:7; 10:19; Daniel 5:2-6,30; Nahum 1:10; Luke 21:34
fear not
Numbers 22:16,17; 1 Samuel 28:10,13
have not I
or, Will you not, since I have, etc.
Joshua 1:9
Heb. sons of valour.

Verse 29
And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.
1 Samuel 22:18,19; 1 Kings 21:11-13; 2 Kings 1:9-12; Proverbs 29:12; Micah 7:3
gat him up
Heb. rode. mule.
18:9; Genesis 36:24; Leviticus 19:19; 1 Kings 1:33

Verse 31
Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.
12:16; Genesis 37:29,34; Joshua 7:6; Job 1:20
all his servants
1:11; 3:31

Verse 32
And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
1 Samuel 16:9
David's brother. This was a very bad man: he had given his cousin Amnon the most detestable advice; and here speaks coolly of a most bloody tragedy of which he had been the cause.
Heb. mouth. determined. or, settled.
Genesis 27:41; Psalms 7:14; Proverbs 24:11,12

Verse 33
Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.
let not my lord

Verse 34
But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him.
Absalom fled
38; Genesis 4:8-14; Proverbs 28:17; Amos 5:19

Verse 35
And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king's sons come: as thy servant said, so it is.
as they servant said
Heb. according to the word of thy servant.

Verse 36
And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore.
very sore
Heb. with a great weeping greatly.
15; *marg:; 12:21; 18:33

Verse 37
But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.
Absalom fled
As Absalom had committed wilful murder, he could not avail himself of a city of refuge; but went to Talmai, king of Geshur, his maternal grandfather.
3:3; 1 Chronicles 3:2
or, Ammihur.

Verse 38
So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
A. M. 2974-2977. B.C. 1030-1027. An. Ex. Is. 461-464. Geshur. This was not the Geshur lying between Philistia and Egypt, (Jos 13:13. 1 Sa 27:8,) but another in Syria; probably the same as that beyond Jordan, whose inhabitants are joined with those of Maachathi, De 3:14. Jos 12:5
14:23,32; 15:8

Verse 39
And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.
the soul of
Genesis 31:30; Deuteronomy 28:32; Philippians 2:26
or, was consumed.
Psalms 84:2; 119:20
12:23; Genesis 24:67; 37:35; 38:12


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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